New research suggests that working at a messy desk could be making people more creative.
Scientists found that being surrounded by clutter can promote creative thinking and stimulate new ideas according to the Telegraph.
The study was conducted by psychological scientist Professor Kathleen Vohs and fellow researchers at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
“If a clean environment is all about doing what’s expected, then what does it mean to be doing things people don’t expect of you?” Vohs said.
“That sounded like a loose definition of innovation and creativity.”
The New York Daily News reported that previous studies showed that cleanliness promotes god behavior, such as not committing crimes and displaying generosity.
So the researchers wanted to focus whether or not there were any positive effects of working in a messy environment.
During experiments, those working in a generally messy environment were, overall, more creative.
In one of the experiments, participants where asked to come up with new uses for ping pong balls.
While those in the messy environment tended to come up with the same number of ideas as those in the clean environment, impartial judges stated that those in the messy environment tended to come up with more interesting and creative ideas.
Professor Vohs said: “Just making that environment tidy or unkempt made a massive difference in people’s behavior.”
Vohn continued on to say the following:
“We are all exposed to various kinds of settings, such as in our office space, our homes, our cars, even on the Internet.
“Whether you have control over the tidiness of the environment or not, you are exposed to it and our research shows it can affect you.”
This research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science according to Live Science.
Messy or clean, what does your work desk say about you?